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john_haskell

Nashville Property Value Renderings - Urban Study

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Well I've prepared some cool renderings of Nashville for a study I'm doing during my senior year here at Vandy. These maps are a mixture of property value trend surfaces and raw data projections that were useful for analyzing Nashville's real estate market and, ultimately, what the market reveals about industry clustering and ubran agglomeration. Some of these maps are pretty telling in terms of where the recent development has been and how much "headroom" we have left. I've got some other analysis and renderings I'll provide on my site shortly (http://www.johnhaskell.com). All the fun econometric stuff will have to wait for another time. In the meantime, feel free to browse and discuss. I haven't optimized these for the site so please click for the larger images.

A regional view of what's going on:

nashville-entire-extent-idw.jpg

A closer look at agglomerations along the CBD's southwest axis. Value per acre (VPA) is in $000's. Notice Midtown has broken into the next critical stage of development (as of 2005), indicated by the Green coloring. Makes sense with the buildings rising as high as they are here. The Adelecia just blocked out the sun from my apartment across the way... (also realize the true value of university land won't be reflected here, i.e. no property tax assessments on buildings):

southwesterly-subcenters-idw.jpg

This next one is pretty telling. You could potentially walk a few feet from the back porch of a 16th avenue row house to the back porch of a 15th home and experience a 1000% decline in land value during your travels. This "line" would be the boundary of our music industry cluster, though you also start to see some impact from public housing a few blocks over (which gradually impacts values as you move closer in). Amazing how the urban landscape is shaped by psychological barriers. VPA is in straight dollars.

16th-and-15th-divide.jpg

Lastly, this is an approximate 3d surface model of Nashville's development intensity (total property value [total = land + improvements] divided by acreage). It is pure coincidence that Nashville's CBD takes on the form of Batman. I swear. Nashville's most intensley-developed land straddles its center by a few blocks, making it appear to have two ears. The right ear actually represents the Batman building itself. Note that these "heights" are only roughly correlated with actual building height, i.e. higher buildings cost more to build and improvement value/acre will push up total value/acre. This is a view from the SW.

nashville_3d_sw.jpg

Cheers,

John

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

John N. Haskell

Vanderbilt University

http://www.johnhaskell.com

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I found your 3rd figure especially interesting, since it covers my neighborhood. I do, however, disagree with your comment:

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I found your 3rd figure especially interesting, since it covers my neighborhood. I do, however, disagree with your comment: "you also start to see some impact from public housing a few blocks over (which gradually impacts values as you move closer in). Amazing how the urban landscape is shaped by psychological barriers."

I do not believe this drop in value is based on psychological barriers. I've seen crime maps of the area (produced by Mike Hodge from the Neighborhood Resource Center), and the value maps roughly parallel the crime rate. People do not like living in high crime areas and are not willing to pay much for the land. Why ascribe the drop in land values to "psychological barriers"?

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I found your 3rd figure especially interesting, since it covers my neighborhood. I do, however, disagree with your comment:

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You're right, these 2005 models are only as good as the assessor's estimates (which take into account recent proximate sales). If the estimates are skewed towards recent sales, then so is the model... but that's why its a model of values and not exact reality. And if you consider the goodness of "fit" to what we experience walking around town, the model is pretty accurate. As far as Centennial Blvd. I assume its because the area is less densley developed relative to the likes of Midtown or West End, where the buildings are starting to get pretty tall. I could take a look at different cities, neighborhoods, properties, years, etc. but I'm sure there's good money in that ;-)... which I wouldn't be opposed to doing. I can and have done analysis on other cities before though it depends on how transparent and well-organized they are with their data. Normally I can use some other databases and tricks that make the public data more useful for analysis.

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...that's why its a model of values and not exact reality...

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John_haskell says "And lets say crime didn't explain all of the falloff in values; could it be some inexplicit community/industry standard that "Music Row" should end at 16th avenue?"

There is a zoning difference between 16th/17th and everything to the East. That is one reason for the sharp line between 16th and Villa Pl. (The streets go 16th, Villa Pl, then 15th.)

I think the issue of public housings' effect on urban neighborhoods is the biggest issue being ignored in the mayor race right now.

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So are you just maping land value or land and improvements?

If the map simply shows that land values are higher in the major commercial centers and yuppie enclaves, does it really tell us anything we don't already know? It would have been cool if the map had revealed hidden areas of value that we didn't expect intuitively.

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If you look at the three other concentrations of public housing (there's one on each corner of the city, N-E-S-W) you see the same impact on neighborhoods (the gradient part, not the drastic step). On the map, it kind of looks like the housing has the effect of cutting downtown off from the surrounding area, though highways and rivers also play a big role in the continuity question. There was a well-known study done in Chicago by a few Northwestern researchers who found that concentrated poverty became endemic poverty, and impoverished families did better when they weren't all concentrated together. The implication was moving them out to suburbia or the city periphery would allow them to spread out, live cheaper, tap several different job markets, etc.

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I still don't know what you would do with this information.

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I still don't know what you would do with this information.

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Which information exactly? The property value maps in general? The change around public housing?

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I'll see if I can't post a map of the CBD and the four public housing developments tomorrow.

I don't know if the sweeping view is going to be helpful to everyone, but hopefully there's a "cool" factor for most people. Looking through the economist's lens, I like to look for patterns or anomalies in what people (or developers) value and the dashboard view lets you do that. Then I can go do all of my hypothesis testing. It gets more interesting when you look at time series data and the urban dynamism; you can see how people react to new variables being introduced into the system. All of these questions get at the heart of spatial economics, i.e. understanding why economic activity takes place where it does. Perhaps then we can "guide" it to places where we want it (i.e. towards our region and away from others) or smooth out areas where the public sector has just made it really tough for people to organize the way that makes the most sense.

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... where the public sector has just made it really tough for people to organize the way that makes the most sense.

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This effect in the N-E-S-W is not obvious to me from the maps you posted. (Though I am not certain where all the public housing is on the map.) Is there some other map you are basing this on?

Also, I see that you have worked for Rep. Cooper. Do you have any thoughts on how to inject these issues into the local Nashville political scene, especially the mayor's race?

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here's a better view of land values surrounding the CBD with the four public housing concentrations highlighted in orange.

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I found this website mapping public housing in Nashville:

http://www.nashville.gov/mdha/housing_management.htm

I noticed you missed the Tony Sudekum and J.C. Napier homes in the Southeast and the Cheatham homes in the Northwest. Including these homes makes the shadow effect even more clear: property values decline near public housing. The maps make clear a general effect: inner city neighborhoods have improved, but much less so near public housing. I

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Yeah there are about 450 MDHA parcels around the city so I only have a few of these highlighted. The relationship becomes even more defined--amazingly so--when all 450 are mapped. But the direction of causality is still not fully-established... I have to go back in time to figure that out. Perhaps MDHA set up in already-depressed neighborhoods because the property was cheap, though I doubt that's the explanation. Maybe someone from MDHA could answer that?? Seeing as we have gradients of depression around certain concentrations, it seems we've already established some direction of causality--at least with the largest concentrations.

I'd be interested in comparing the impact on property values from dispersed public housing versus concentrated--something outside of the scope of my current study but certainly within reach if Metro or a developer wanted to commission such a study. This might naturally lead into a cost-benefit analysis of breaking up concentrated projects. It doesn't take alot of imagination to see how the city might re-form itself if there weren't these blocks of land in the way. Its not like I'm anti-poor, either; I've done alot of work on metropolitan poverty. But I also think these families will be better off if they're not bunched up together in bad neighborhoods. I think there's a win-win situation here.

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I thought I'd complement the quantitative with some qualitative understanding. I redirected my evening run down towards 15th avenue off of Music Row (an area we've been discussing) and was impressed with what appeared to be an attempt to revitalize the area (though I was discouraged by a group of speeding police cruisers from going further east). There was one strip of stores and restaurants at the corner of Edgehill and Villa Pl.--they were kind of Bohemian-looking--that looked like it was on the verge of being something promising and cool. There was a bit of graffiti but it wasn't over-run by it. There was some new construction, commercial banking signs, etc. indicating new life. Small-scale stuff, perhaps shabby construction, but young and fun looking. Does anyone know the history behind this neighborhood? Anyhow I continued down to 15th and took a right turn. Seemed like a friendly-enough neighborhood--mostly African American families with college students (Vandy and Belmont) mixed in. Everyone was out on their porch, observing the kids, playing whiffle ball or grilling... college students out drinking beers on their back porches in typical form. There was some loitering on the sidewalks, etc. but nothing threatening. I stopped and talked to a friend on 15th who was paying $700/month for a 2-br 1000sq ft. bottom-floor with hardwoods (plus deck, big lawn, parking, etc). He was happy to be living near campus for $350, and for what I'm paying just five blocks closer in, I can't blame him. Maybe its a different place at night, I'm not sure... anyone wish to expand on these comments?

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I rent an office on 17th Ave on Music Row. It's in one of the cool, old houses that Music Row is famous for. Being in the music industry, it's great to have an office on the Row...and yes...prices are somewhat inflated because of the value of the music industry. It feels very safe and vibrant on the Row during work hours...but it's a bit scary on the Row during the evenings and weekends. I have many, many friends who have had cars and offices broken into...and a few rapes and muggings that have happened on 16th and 17th. So...even though the land value is more on the Row, it still is victim somewhat to the nearby crime of other neighborhoods.

I almost purchased a bldg. on 16th 3 years ago that backs up to a property on Villa, but since I'm female, I was a bit apprehensive. I still hope to buy, and would love to purchase a place on Villa if I knew it was headed towards being a safer neighborhood.

Music Row would love to head west towards Vandy, but Vandy is buying up every ounce of land heading east into Music Row and constructing new buildings. If Music Row is to grow, it has no choice but to grow into Villa and 15th heading east.

So...anywhere there is money and people willing to fix up a property and make the neighborhood somewhat safer, the property value will rise...even if it's one street over from a "not-so'hot" street.

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John, thanks for the interesting study. I have lived on Villa Place for five years, and I feel like it has gotten safer each of these years, and exponentially safer in the last two years. It is hard to tell how much of my personal comfort is related to my familiarity with my surroundings, but I do note that the frequency of baby strollers and joggers on the steet has gone up from almost none to a common occurrence. I still wouldn't recommend that a female walk alone on Villa Place at night, but I think that is a dangerous practice on almost any street in Nashville.

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Also, why is centennial park black but the bicentennial mall park has a mid-range value and riverfront park seems to be very valuable?

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